Before a sparse crowd gathered at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem, Kerry said, "The president (Monday night) will lay out his vision … I believe the president will run away from his own record because he doesn't have a record to run on."
Kerry, who rarely ever mentions his lone remaining major Democratic nomination foe, added, "It's interesting. We have George Bush on the run because he's going to get out there tonight and start his campaign even before we have a Democratic nominee."
The event concluded with Coldplay's "Clocks," but regardless of frontman Chris Martin's endorsement of Kerry, the Grammy-winning song was quickly skipped for Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke."
The Senator's second stop took him to Queens, where the record repeated. In a press avail, Kerry again charged, "I think George Bush is on the run and I think George Bush is on the run because he doesn't have a record to run on."
He also said, "(Republicans) have even named their multi-million dollar television advertising (campaign) 'Operation Carpet Bombing,'" although no evidence exists to support this claim and the Republican National Committee denies it.
Kerry was also asked by a television news producer whether or not he felt it is appropriate that Senator Edwards' stump speech focuses on economic and domestic issues, making little mention of national security.
He deflected the opportunity to criticize Edwards on a subject on which he often critiques the president, offering only that he "wouldn't comment on any other candidates' strategies."
The Kerry campaign does intend, however, to counter Edwards in the three markets where the North Carolina Senator has begun to air television ads.
Starting Tuesday, Kerry will go up with the ever-popular "Del" or "A Good American," an ad featuring one of Kerry's swift boat mates describing the Senator's service in Vietnam. "Del" will run through Super Tuesday in Ohio, Georgia, and upstate New York including Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse but not Albany.
Two new ads — one on the economy and one Georgia-specific featuring former Senator Max Cleland and Rep. John Lewis — are also in production.
Kerry Communications Director Stephanie Cutter would not disclose the specific amount of the buy, labeling it "pretty significant."
Cutter insisted other states could be added to the buy and deflected the notion that the move is intended to counter Edwards.
"It made sense to go up in those states," Cutter said, later adding the Kerry campaign "always knew" they would advertise in Ohio.
"It's a significant state," Cutter remarked. "It embodies everything that's wrong with this country."
Kerry attended three closed fundraisers in New York City Monday evening. He begins a two-day trip to Ohio Tuesday, with stops in Youngstown, Cleveland, and Toledo.
ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 22 — Prior to Sunday, the Kerry campaign's post-Wisconsin week was Notable more for what did not happen than for what did.
Senator Kerry did not expand his pre-Super Tuesday travel schedule, campaigning only in Ohio and Georgia between two down days in his home state of Massachusetts. In that same time, Senator Edwards busily made his way to five of the 10 contested March 2 states.
The Kerry campaign did not go up with ads — even symbolically — anywhere, despite moves by the Edwards camp to go on the air in both Georgia and Ohio.